How To: Convert photos to digital

Convert photos to digital

Buying a digital camera doesn't mean your old prints, slides, or negatives are obsolete. You can easily convert them with a scanner to bring them into the 21st century. Watch this video to learn how to convert photos to digital.

You Will Need

* Photos, slides, or negatives
* A computer
* A flatbed scanner with attachments for slides and negatives
* A soft photography or makeup brush
* A lint-free cloth
* Isopropyl alcohol
* Photo editing software

Step 1. Organize your photos

Before scanning, organize your photos – and slides and negatives, if you have them – into logical groups. This will make renaming and labeling them much easier later on.

Step 2. Clean your photos

Using a soft photography or makeup brush, gently clean your photos. Any dirt or smudges will be visible in your scans.

Step 3. Clean the scanner

Using isopropyl, or another cleaning agent that won't leave residue or streaks, and a lint-free cloth, wipe any dust, smudges, and fingerprints off the scanner's glass bed.

Step 4. Select your DPI based on your image use

For images you intend to print, a DPI (or dots per inch) of 300 is recommended. Slides or negatives need a DPI of at least 2,400. For use on the Web, a DPI of 72 is acceptable.

Step 5. Scan your old photos

Using the software that came with your scanner, scan each photo into your computer.

Step 6. Rename your digital scans

Your scans will likely have numerical names that tell you nothing about the content of the scanned image. Rename each file.

Step 7. Edit your images

Using photo- editing software, view each image, cropping out bits you don't want.

Step 8. Backup your images

Photo library software makes organizing and viewing photos on the computer simple, but you should also burn your scanned photos to a CD, DVD, or an external hard drive for safekeeping.

FACT: You can get a scanner the size of a ballpoint pen, meant for scanning single lines

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